Getting the Call ~ “You Have Cancer”

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The following are 2 journal entries written the day of and the day after I found out about my diagnosis.

September 16th, 2015

imagesIt’s hilariously insane how many times I checked my phone today. Today could be the day I get the call. I wasn’t experiencing fear ~ it was more like an excited/anxious anticipation. The feeling I use to get right before a big basketball game in high school or before starting one of my yoga retreats.

I taught a morning yoga class and the rest of the day was open. I thought about going to get my car washed and decided to stay at home instead and dive into some Netflix Therapy while I continued my Phone Stalking. I successfully distracted myself with a new series on Netflix called “Rectify” (highly recommended!) and then Travis came home.

I was on episode 4 when I got the call. “Holy shit! This is it!” It was in the afternoon and Travis was next to me on the couch. (Thank God I didn’t go for that car wash!). The home was quiet. I answered the phone & put it on speaker. The doctor said she just got the pathology report and wanted to call me as soon as possible.

“This is the part of my job that’s really difficult. I’m afraid I have bad news. They did find cancer in both the breast and lymph node.”

Time stopped ~ there was a quiet stillness that’s hard to describe. It was as if someone else’s life was being described to me. My hand grabbed Travis’ hand. “It’s called Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma, grade 3, and it’s the most common form of breast cancer.” Good, I thought ~ that means doctors will know how to deal with it. She shared how she recently had a patient who was 27 years old and diagnosed with the same cancer ~ she is now doing great and just had her 1st baby. “People make it through this and live very happy lives.” She said she would send the pathology report to the breast surgeon, and then find out if the surgeon recommends I wait until my insurance kicks in October 1st to have a consultation or begin now. Unfortunately, with biopsies you can not tell what stage the cancer is, or if it has spread to other areas. It started in my left breast and had definitely spread to my left lymph nodes.

My lulus have cancer. I looked down at my left breast. Really? It looks so connection2divinefine, it feels so fine other than some soreness from the biopsy. That’s cancer in there? How is this possible? As soon as I got off the phone, I turned to my husband and the tears began to flow. The best words I can use to describe how I felt were…. “surreal” and “fucking weird.” I loved how my husband held me, both crying/trembling together. I love him so much my heart could burst.

Then all of the sudden, my body got extremely hot. So hot, that I had to take my shirt off. I paced around the living room…Wow. What? Really? I remember actually pinching my arm multiple times to see if this was some sort of crazy dream. Me? Cancer? Realllllllly?

I called my mom on facetime. That was really, really hard. Nobody wants to get this phone call from their child. Seeing the tears in my mother’s eyes while I told her the news made it more real. She nodded her head, “Okay, okay.” I love that the moment I asked if she could come to Dallas, she responded with an immediate “Yes, of course.” Her ticket was booked within an hour to arrive tomorrow. We agreed that she would call my Dad and that I would call my brothers.

What started to plague my mind the most was…HOW is this possible? Why is this happening to me? How did I get cancer? I had thought that perhaps all of the inner work I did up until this point would have given me a “cancer bypass” ~ I already learned all I needed to know, right?

I’m 34. Young. Healthy. Happy. Yet, this reality is still true. I hear Byron Katie’s words, “who would you be without your reasons?” It really is the best time for me to have cancer, isn’t it? I have a healthy vehicle and the time and support to take care of this now. I have the tools to fall in love with it. I gently caressed my lulus and thanked them for showing up.

It wasn’t until 6pm that I realized how bad of a headache I had and that I hadn’t eaten lunch. Sweet Travis jumped to prepare dinner for me. Earlier, he had said, “you don’t have to do anything around the house anymore, honey. I’ll do all the cooking and all of the cleaning. I’ll go get your car washed too.” How amazing is he? I was more than happy to receive. My Dad and I traded texts ~ he said how proud he was of me for how I am handling this. I agreed. Then we texted hilarious images back and forth….my favorite one being the poop emojis with big eyes and smiley faces.

The doctor called back and said that the breast surgeon thinks that it’s fine for me to wait until October. The surgeon offered to clear time in her schedule Friday (in 2 days) for the consultation so that we can begin testing on the 1st. She said she would comp the visit since I don’t have insurance yet. Wow. Kind. Universe.

I cleared my work schedule the rest of the week. It feels like my “healing team” is all coming together.

Around 8:30pm, the body and mind just fully let go. Let Out LoveI started in a child’s pose and the tears began to pour out. Deep whaling, shaking, moaning…I just let it all out. At one point, I was hovered over the toilet, dry heaving. It
wasn’t painful, it just felt like the body needed to do its’ thing and luckily, I have had a lot of experience with emotional healing to know that all I need to do is to get out of the way. Then I laid in bed while Travis massaged my head.

Right now, it’s 3:47am. I’ve been up since 1am or so. My mind is active and I felt the need to write. I have no idea what I’ll be doing with these words. I don’t know if another eye will see them. I just know I am supposed to write. My head is starting to feel better too. Breathing.

September 17th, 2015

My mommy is here! My mommy is here! I picked her up from the airport ~ one of the BEST hugs I’ve ever experienced. There is something so soothing and comforting about being nestled into your mothers chest. I. Am. So. Happy. She. Is. Here.

BeforeOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA she arrived, I had the morning to myself and it was magical. I did my morning “steam & tizzle.” This is a new tradition for me ~ I’ll boil ginger and turmeric root in water, place my face over the steam and breathe it in for a few minutes. Then I’ll add clove and steep a bag of decaf green tea. I love to drink the tea with unsweetened vanilla almond milk and raw honey ~ it’s incredible and is anti-inflammatory, helps with allergies, boosts immunity, cleanses, & is high in antioxidants. After my steam & tizzle, I went for my morning walk. I felt so much more present ~ like the best high I’ve ever experienced ~ the colors, sunlight, sounds were so much more alive. There was this lively sense of quiet inside of me. I’ve had similar experiences when I attend Byron Katie’s workshops & schools. Life is simple. Life is beautiful.

At the end of the walk, I talked with the property manager at our condo. He said, “I don’t mean to pry, but you’re in such great shape and you’re so beautiful ~ do you really just do yoga? I mean, you look like you’re in your 20’s.” I remembered that he had just had a mini phone consultation with my husband last week, getting tips on food/exercise/stress relief. I told him, “yes, it’s yoga, walking, and I do love rebounding and swimming. Organic foods are important to me and I’ve learned to listen to my body and eat what feels good ~ I’ve been known to rock pizza and a burger too. I also think the most important thing is to take care of the mind ~ and we use The Work of Byron Katie to deal with stress. When the mind is stressed, the body’s systems don’t work efficiently.” But then I could feel myself begin to turn “my experience” into “advice giving.” And then I blurted out, “But shit, what do I know ~ I just found out yesterday that I have cancer. So yes, you can do all of these amazing things for your body & mind and still get cancer!”

It felt good to be blunt and honest. I mean, really…what do I know about health for anyone else? Living this way feels right for me, nurturing for me. I will continue to live this way to support healing cancer. I’ve come to realize that I have created a wonderful vehicle to support cancer healing: I’m young, healthy, strong, open-minded, and know exactly how to deal with stress.

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The Mammo & Ultrasound…I will finally know! Or not.

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Written on September 2nd, 2015…
I was extremely anxious thinking about the appointment for the mammogram and ultrasound. I heard they would be able to tell me results on the spot, so I knew I was leaving that building knowing whether or not I have cancer.

Two days before the appointment, thoughts began to bombard me. “I have cancer. I may not have a future with my husband like I thought.”

BethanyWebbyogArtOn one of these evenings, I made love to my husband and felt a deep sadness overcome me. I looked into his eyes and let the emotion poor out of me. The moment didn’t feel real, he didn’t feel real. His realness was fading. There was deep, gut-wrenching sadness and then also a curiosity, a surrender, and a deep pleasure. I felt like at that point, I started just to allow whatever needed to come up, come up. I felt so connected with him as my tears fell from my eyes onto his face. His smile. This cosmic, beyond this world connection ~ knowing we’d always be connected no matter what. I flashed to a similar experience I had making love to him when we first met over 8 years ago, this knowingness. It was actually beautiful. After we made love, I just layed in his arms and couldn’t speak. It seemed that this “I might have cancer” experience was already re-shaping our relationship. There was a sweetness, tenderness, wordless appreciation for each other. The petty arguments stopped, we just felt closer. I love him 🙂

Ok, back to my mammo and ultrasound appointment. What a crazy, weird process. So first is the mammo. The technician was an incredibly sweet, plump, old lady who is definitely someone’s loving grandmother. She walked me through the process: (1) first disrobe and put on the sexy hospital gown (which had a giant tear in it), (2) put little stickers with metal in them over my moles and freckles so that the radiologist can see they aren’t internal lumps on the mammograms. (She then told me about how all of the young girls in the office like to take these home and put them on their nipples for their boyfriends…ha!) and (3) she will then instruct me to place my boob in the ginormous machine with a pancake smashing device several times from all different angles. When I hear the noise, she’ll tell me in a calm, soothing voice ”DON’T breathe” and it will take the image..then she’ll say, “You can breathe.”

If there’s anything that can suck the sexiness out of young, voluptuous 34DD boobies, it’s the mammo.

pancake imageDear God, I had no idea they could be contorted like that. It was quite hilarious to see just how flat my boobs could get ~ these gals can take much more than I knew they could! I was also super excited about the fact that I was about to get my menstrual cycle, so of course my boobs were already extremely swollen and tender. A great time to manipulate, twist, turn, smash, and then some. But in all honestly, it wasn’t as painful as I had thought. Of course, during the entire process, I studied the shit out of the technician’s face as she was looking at my images…looking for some facial expression/sign that would let me know what is growing in my boob…she kept her cheery grandma smile the whole time.

After the mammogram, she said she would show the images to the radiologist who will then determine if an ultrasound will be needed. She then looked at me with a reassuring smile and said, “I am almost positive that….” (oh good! My mind thought, she’s going to say she thinks it’s nothing to worry about!) “… that you’ll also need an ultrasound. Be right back!” Damnit.

10 minutes later, she came into the room, extremely smiley and chipper. “I have good news!” (again, my mind comes in with “Oh goodie! It’s not cancer!!!”) and she finished her sentence with, “you’ll DEFINITELY need an ultrasound!” Honestly lady, you really need to learn how to fucking deliver information to your patients…I brushed it off because of her genuine sweetness and headed into the ultrasound room with a new technician.

After the ultrasound, the technician asked if I wanted anyone with me for when the doctor tells me the news and I said yes, to please get my husband from the waiting room. I said “he’ll be easy to find, he’s the really cute guy.” She said, “Oh, I think I already spotted him. Brown hair?” That’s my baby.

Travis’ face was so sweet when he walked in ~ so much love and concern, “Honey, are you ok?” rushing to me. I explained I didn’t have any news yet and just wanted him to be with me when I heard. The radiologist and technician returned. She asked if she could take another ultrasound and spent a few more minutes looking at the images. Then she looked me in the eyes and said that since my breast tissue is so dense, she is not able to tell what the lumps are ~ they could be cancerous, benign, or just an infection. So she recommended a biopsy or possibly surgery to have them removed.

angry babyAll of my “not much stressness” took an exit at this moment. What. The. Fuck. “I just went through all of that for nothing? You STILL don’t know? I HAVE to WAIT even longer?! I was supposed to know TODAY. She should be able to diagnose me. She should know all of the answers.” And the tears and fear poured out….My husband said, “honey – this is great news. She is not saying you have cancer.” Well, at that point I could not hear it/see it..Just pure frustration.

The next day, I had an appointment with my doctor, the head doctor at my mother-in-law’s office. She explained the situation again, and we talked about how it would be a good time to get health insurance. She said that she was so sorry and that I am too young to have to go through something like this. This was all starting to sound too real for me now. Could it really be possible for me to have cancer? I am young. I am healthy. I live a really healthy lifestyle. I fucking teach “wellness” for a living! There’s no history of breast cancer in my family. How could this be possible?

When I got home, I started diving into questioning my stressful thoughts again using The Work of Byron Katie. I did a worksheet on the moment when the radiologist shared the news (or lack there of). A judge-your-neighbor worksheet is a free tool on Byron Katie’s web site that helps you identify & collect stressful thoughts. Through inquiry, I caught up with the reality that this news really was good. The radiologist was NOT telling me I had cancer. She cared enough to look me in the eyes, face me, and shared her desire to have more testing done so we can get a clear picture of what’s going on in my body. Not a guess. That’s what I want too. My anger towards her dropped, I saw she is doing the best she can with the information available. And how great is it that I didn’t have a diagnosis yet since I didn’t have insurance? This gave me the time to make the many phone calls needed to get full coverage health insurance starting in October. Obamacare…my hero.

After getting an out-of-pocket quote of $825 for the biopsy ~ I decided to schedule it asap ~ it is worth every penny for my mental peace to get this taken care of as soon as possible. (Side note from October 31st: the medical bills I have received so far for this biopsy are now totaling over $5,000!!! Ugh.) The next biopsy appointment was in 2 weeks and I discovered that my mind didn’t do very well with the waiting game. Especially because this week was my 34th birthday!! Come on..universe! I had parties, my husband’s gig, lunch dates coming up. Oh, and maybe cancer.

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Pre-diagnosis: a Lump & an Angel

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Written on August 28th, 2015…

So I guess I should start writing..It’s 2am and the mind is fully awake. I just know that is what I’m supposed to do. Over the past month, I have experienced quite a shift of awareness. And I have cancer to thank for this.

Scary MountainLast November, I found a lump in my left breast. It didn’t surprise me or shock me, I had started to get lumps in my late 20’s. When I felt very the first lump, there was pure PANIC, “Holy shit! I have a lump. It means I have cancer! My life is over! I’m dying!” This is when I began to use The Work of Byron Katie to question my stressful thoughts about lumps. Guess what I discovered? A lump is just a sweet, innocent, speck of nothing. It’s the label I put on the lump that took me down a hysterical emotional rollercoaster. The silly mind had just made a mountain out of a boobie lump. Other than what I was thinking and believing, I was perfectly ok. Doing The Work allowed me to stay present and peacefully move to the next steps.

I would always get each lump checked out by professionals and they all ended up being either a cyst or swollen lymph node. I was told ~ yes, I have lumpy boobs and this is normal. I learned how to monitor them and they seemed to go away over time so I learned how not to freak out when a new one was felt.

Well, this November lump didn’t go away. It got larger and larger and then about 6 months later, I noticed another lump in my left armpit. So I went the non-traditional healing route ~ Breast Thermography (note: this is not the center I visited). Breast Thermography is a way of taking digital photos that measure the heat in the breast tissue. Because anything cancerous is inflammation ~ it will show up as heat on the images. The naturopath can then determine if a lump is likely to be cancerous or not. There is zero radiation, which really appealed to me. I had done Breast Thermography on the very first lump I detected back when I was 30, and the results were congruent with traditional medical doctors as well ~ just a swollen lymph node. So, I trusted this process.

The naturopath did not detect any heat in the new, larger lump, nor in the armpit. My estrogen did look a little elevated. He said they were likely swollen lymph nodes or a cyst and recommended lymphatic drainage therapy ~ a homeopathic remedy taken 3 times per day, and 3 sessions of lymphatic drainage to stimulate and drain my lymphatic system. He then said to come back in 6 months for a follow-up.

But after 2 months, there was no change in the size of my lumps. I asked him if I should get an ultrasound to make sure it’s not anything, and he agreed it might be a good idea. I honestly couldn’t tell if he just didn’t know what to do with me anymore since his therapies weren’t working or if he really was concerned. He didn’t know a place to do an ultrasounds which I thought was kind of bullshit.

I’m self-employed and without health insurance. I started calling around to see if I could get an ultrasound somewhere and what the out-of-pocket cost would be. I felt frustrated, inconvenienced, & annoyed that there wasn’t a clear answer. I was pissed at myself for not having insurance either ~ this is the exact situation of why people get insurance ~ to find peace of mind in unexpected events.

Angel_PrayingThen I found an angel in a woman who has been in my life for 8 years, my mother-in-law, Elaine. I had known she worked in a doctor’s office, but had no idea what kind and she jumped at the opportunity to support me. She literally swept right in and held my hand throughout the entire process. Before I knew it, she was setting up an appointment with one of her nurse’s for a manual exam free of charge; the doctor could then refer me to a clinic for the ultrasound.

During my manual exam, I learned that perhaps my lump was a little bigger than a regular lump looked at by doctors. When the nurse saw me turn to my side and the bulge popped out of the side of my breast, she immediately got the head doctor to come take a look. She agreed that I needed to get it checked out asap. The good news is that the lump in my breast was not fixed, it could just be a fibroadenoma. It worried her a bit that there was another lump in the armpit though. Angel Elaine made my appointment for a mammogram & ultrasound ~ apparently the clinic refused to do just an ultrasound by itself because I am over the age of 30. I had mixed feelings about mammograms and wasn’t crazy about the exposure of radiation. However, I heard that the combination of these two tools are my best option for giving an accurate diagnosis of what’s going on in my body.

After the doctor’s visit, the lumps started to make me anxious again (or rather, my thinking about them did!). I continued to question my stressful thoughts about them and decided to give them a cute new name: Lulu 1 (breast lump) and Lulu 2 (armpit lump). This just made me giggle 🙂 Now I could take my Lulus to get an ultrasound and mammogram. My new little buddies.

Up until this point, I didn’t experience much stress. I figured, I’ll save my freak-out until there is actually something real to freak out about…the doctors are just making sure it’s nothing to worry about. The biggest stress that showed up for me at that point, had nothing to do about health, a diagnosis, terminal cancer. It had everything to do with MONEY.

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Welcome to My Guru Cancer Blog

Do you heart this blog? Well, it’s now a real, live book baby! Get your copy on Amazon. #mygurucancer  

VideoScreenShotThis blog is dedicated to sharing my journey healing breast cancer. It will serve as a sort of “online journal” for progress, updates, inner & outer work, struggles, enlightening realizations, & more.

Join me on this adventure from pre-diagnosis to the cure…through all of the ups, downs, & turnarounds.

On September 16th, 2015, I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer called Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (fancy name, eh?). I am young, healthy, and have no family history of breast cancer, so this news came as a big surprise! Watch this video to learn a little more about how I am handling this diagnosis.

I have chosen a path of healing that integrates traditional & alternative medicine ~ the perfect path for me. I feel incredibly blessed to already be fully equipped with incredible healing tools ~ The Work of Byron Katie (self-inquiry), Yoga, Meditation, Nutrition, Art, Acupuncture, Humor, & best of all…the Loving Support of Family & Friends. I’ve recently discovered the power of writing & a burning desire to share it…so here we are.

I am not here to fight cancer. I am here to make friends with it, listen to it, learn from it, evolve & grow. What if illness happens for our enlightenment? What if it makes our life even better? I am already learning so much from my new guru, Cancer: CRHeartSeated

  • People are kind.
  • Unconditional love does exist.
  • I am fully supported in every moment.
  • The cancer in my head (ie- my imagination) is way worse than the cancer in reality. Whew.

The universe doesn’t just pour a pile of shit on your head; there’s a bigger calling at work here and I’m open to fully experiencing it. Like Byron Katie says, “Life happens for you, not to you.” Here we go!

With Love,


How to navigate this blog

This Welcome Post will remain at the top of the page and the rest of the posts will be ordered by “most recent” at the top. Here is the complete list of posts in chronological order:

Blog Posts

Pre-diagnosis: a Lump & an Angel

By Request: Alternative & Complimentary Therapies for My Breast Cancer Treatment Plan

The Mammo & Ultrasound…I will finally know! Or not.

How I found Peace during “The Waiting Game”

Getting the Call ~ “You have Cancer”

Part 1: Meeting with the Breast Surgeon right after Diagnosis

Part 2: Meeting with the Breast Surgeon for Surgery Options

Medical Update

Inquiry: “The Cancer is spreading ~ is it true?”

The Future of My Boobs (FOMB)

Update: Post-Chemo & Pre-Surgery

Gratitude, Elephants, & Going Potty ~ my experience of breast surgery

Self-Discovery while in Recovery

The Gift of a Butterfly

When Complications Become Blessings

BIG UPDATE! Post-treatment Life of Awesomeness

A Different Kind of Breast Cancer Awareness

All Natural Remedies for Chemo Side Effects

What if Fear is just a Fart?

Inquiry: “Chemo is poisonous to my body” ~ is it true?

Life with Tissue Expander Boobs

Update ~ Prepping for the Last Hoorah: Breast Reconstruction

Meeting BIG Emotions in the Cancer Journey

Follow-ups, the Boob Whisperer, Clear Scans, & Summer Fun

Diagnosis = New Direction

Diagnostic Testing without Stressing

Conventional vs. Alternative Medicine ~ can’t we all just get along?

You Can Have Cancer & Be Happy

HOW would you LIVE if you knew you were dying?

Are you eating Fear or Peace?

The Work of Byron Katie & Cancer

Update: Boobieversary, Cancer Camp, Retreats, & Book

How to Clear Cancer BS and Enjoy the Ride